Lean Yankees vs. Cubs for MLB Picks

Doug Upstone

Tuesday, May 20, 2014 12:29 PM UTC

Tuesday, May. 20, 2014 12:29 PM UTC

It is a rare treat indeed for Cubs fans and transplanted New Yorker’s with the Yankees in Chicago. Given the histories of the franchises the MLB odds will favor the visitors.

Despite little history, these teams have been crossing paths
Since interleague play began in 1997, these two teams have met in the same season less than a handful of times, yet they have been traveling in the same circles recently. 

The Cubs had made a big push to extract Joe Girardi as the Yankees manager, since the former Chicago player had ties to the city, but he ultimately stayed in the Big Apple.

The Cubs were considered a strong suitor for Masahiro Tanaka before he signed with New York. Just think how that might have impacted both teams.

Though he was signed to one of the more ridiculous long term contracts even by Cubs standards, Alfonso Soriano left Chicago as a clubhouse leader and earned the respect of the North Side fans and is back for the next two games.

New York Trying to Weather Injuries
As anyone trying to make MLB picks can tell you, Major League Baseball is turning into the NFL when it comes to injury lists. In today’s game, it is no just about the starting eight along with the starting pitcher, it is your entire roster and what you have available in the minors and who can deliver.

C.C. Sabathia is out until June, Carlos Beltran made need elbow surgery and be gone for two months and Michael Pinada barely got to use a whole container of pine tar before his shoulder put him back on the DL.

If players like Yangervis Solarte don’t ring a bell (Yanks 3B), you are not alone and the best the Yankees can hope for is stay near the front in the division and make a push the last seven weeks of the season.

Cubs Baking Backers, but Might Improve (maybe)
Its heady days the Cubbies fans off their second series win of the season and they will attempt to extract revenge versus New York at home.

If many of you composing sports picks have included taking Chicago on your wagering account, it has been thinned by losing 9.5 units.

However, the Cubs are only minus three is score differential on the season, proving their competitiveness, which is matched by their inability to get the key hit.

Chicago has only lost five times by four or more runs, but is a despicable 2-9 in one run affairs and 7-22 in contests determined by three or fewer runs.

Pitching Matchup for Tuesday
It is impossible to call 155 million dollars a steal, at least in normal terms, but for the New York Yankees it has gone that with way with Masahiro Tanaka (6-0, 2.17 ERA). The Japanese import has been impeccable, with league-leading 0.91 WHIP, in part thanks to 66 strikeouts to just seven walks in 58 innings pitched. The 25-year old has quickly become known for pounding the zone, which is why he has as many walks as home runs surrendered (7). 

While Tanaka is deservedly garnering many of the headlines, Jason Hammel (4-2, 3.06) is tied with his mound counterpart in WHIP, which is the third-best in baseball. Honestly, there has never been any indication the Cubs pitcher would have numbers like this. When healthy, Hammel has a nasty sinker, which right-handed hitters will attest with a .161 batting average.

Bullpen View
With Mariano Rivera no longer wearing the pinstripes, New York figured the bullpen would drop a few notches in 2014. Closer David Robertson has actually been quite proficient with eight saves, 0.60 ERA and averaging better than a strikeout per inning; it’s been getting to him being the issue, which has in part been due to middling starting pitching. 

After a bumpy start, the Chicago bullpen has been steadily improving and is 11th in ERA (3.48) and 13th in baseball in for on-base percentage (.315). MLB baseball handicappers have taken note of the handy work of closer Hector Rondon, whose gas has led to is 5-for-5 in save opportunities, and stellar 1.33 ERA.


Head to Head Combat and Betting Odds
This is a big deal for these long-time franchises. This will be the third series at Wrigley Field between the Yankees and Cubs since the 1938 World Series. The two previous series were in June of 2003 and 2011. These teams ended up playing a day/night doubleheader in New York last month with the Yankees sweeping the two games 3-0 and 2-0. 

Sportsbooks established New York as a -165 money line favorite and they are 9-2 if they are riding one more Under’s. As per usual at Wrigley Field the betting odds on the total is normally established the day of the game depending on which way Lake Michigan is steering the winds.

The Winner Is…
With the Cubs 9-22 against right-handed starters and facing a pitcher like Tanaka, who they have never seem before and he’s been one of the best in baseball, hard to not take the Yankees tonight.

MLB Free Picks: New York wins

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